The Introduction of Danya

danya, hand cream, baby name, 1930s
Danya ad, 1940

The name Danya began showing up in the U.S. baby name data in 1939:

  • 1943: 9 baby girls named Danya
  • 1942: 7 baby girls named Danya
  • 1941: 16 baby girls named Danya
  • 1940: 5 baby girls named Danya
  • 1939: 7 baby girls named Danya [debut]
  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: unlisted

The influence?

I think it was Danya hand cream, which was introduced by Pond’s in 1937.

baby names, products, danya, drene, 1940s, 1930s
Drene & Danya ad, 1939

Danya hand cream was advertised in both newspapers and magazines — particularly women’s magazines, such as Ladies’ Home Journal, McCall’s, Good Housekeeping, and Woman’s Home Companion.

In 1939, incidentally, it was cross-promoted with Drene shampoo. You could buy them both together for just 53¢ (a savings of 32¢!).

Despite all the marketing, Danya lotion saw poor sales. It was discontinued in 1943. (Monchel was another name-influencing beauty product that didn’t last long.)

The baby name Danya, on the other hand, stayed in the data for years to come. In fact, peak usage happened relatively recently: 126 baby girls in 2007.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Danya?

Sources:

Images from Good Housekeeping (Mar. 1, 1940, page 131) and Chicago Sunday Tribune (Feb. 12, 1939, page 3).

3 thoughts on “The Introduction of Danya

  1. Dania and the transliterated-from-Cyrillic Danya (both pronounced Dahn-ya) are Slavic-language diminutives for names like Daniel, Danielle, Daniela, and Danuta. I wonder if that’s the influence on modern usage of the name? Plus, it sounds like Anya with a D. I like it, especially as a diminutive for Daniela.

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